*PetroChina to triple spending from $500 mln past few years. BEIJING, April 18- Chinese state energy giant PetroChina plans to spend more than 10 billion yuan on shale gas this year, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as domestic competition heats up after rival Sinopec announced a commercial find.» Read More
TEHRAN, Iran-- Iran deployed riot police at key Tehran intersections on Thursday, after tensions flared over the nation's plunging currency in the most widespread display of anger linked to the country's sanctions-hit economy.
FRANKFURT, Germany-- The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will likely face questions about a new bond-buying plan Thursday, when he holds a press conference after a monthly policy meeting.
Halfords Group PLC, which sells transport and leisure accessories, said bike sales have surged since Bradley Wiggins in July became the first Briton to win the Tour de France and Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton helped the country win multiple gold medals at the Olympics.
LONDON-- Financial markets remained subdued Thursday in the run-up to the monthly policy meeting of the European Central Bank and another round of U.S. economic data. "Investors will be meticulously analyzing any indications... as to whether Spain is actually any closer to requesting a bailout," said Shavaz Dhalla, financial trader at Spreadex.
LISBON, Portugal-- Transport strikes in Portugal brought misery for thousands of commuters Thursday, and trade unions vowed to step up their fight against the government's latest batch of austerity measures. Portugal is in a deep recession, with record unemployment of 15.9 percent.
MADRID-- Spain's Treasury has sold 3.99 billion in medium term debt at mostly lower interest rates as investors wait for the government to decide whether it will seek a financial bailout. The Treasury auctioned off 710 million in five-year bonds Thursday on an average interest rate of 4.76 percent, down from 6.45 percent in the last such auction July 19.
ROME-- A U.N. agency says international food prices ticked upward in September after two months of stability. International wheat prices fell toward the second half of the month following Russia's announcement that it would not impose restrictions on exports.
SYDNEY-- A Chinese billionaire has made an Australian dollars 830 million takeover offer for Botswana copper miner Discovery Metals Ltd..
ROME-- Officials say the leaders of France, Italy and Spain will hold a meeting in Malta that is likely to be dominated by economic issues related to Europe's debt crisis.
MOSCOW-- Steelmaker Evraz is to gain control of one of Russia's largest coal mines after acquiring a half stake in Cyprus- based investment vehicle Corber Enterprises for an undisclosed sum.
ATHENS, Greece-- Greek police clashed with scores of protesting shipyard workers Thursday after they forced their way into the grounds of Greece's Defense Ministry in Athens. Michalis Kostarakos told the protesters, arguing the military had no part in the shipyard workers' dispute with the government.
WASHINGTON-- A report is showing that more Americans are keeping up with their credit-card payments. The American Bankers Association says the percentage of bank-issued credit cards that were 30 days or more overdue fell to an 11- year low in the second quarter. That came as consumers keep a tighter grip on their finances amid economic uncertainty.
BERLIN-- The chief executive of EADS says Germany, France and Britain are being offered equal rights and a right to veto hostile takeovers in the company that would emerge from a proposed merger with BAE Systems PLC. EADS NV's Tom Enders is working hard to drum up support for a merger of the aeronautics and defense companies but the deal faces potential roadblocks.
At the same time, Hawaii cattle ranchers ship 40,000 live cattle each year to California, Kansas and other states, while just 4,000 are slaughtered for meat sales in Hawaii.
Rising tensions between Syria and Turkey also contributed to higher prices, the geopolitical risk highlighting concerns about Middle East oil supplies. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was up 62 cents to $88.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
SAO PAULO-- The man who has headed the Olympic movement in Brazil for decades and helped bring the 2016 Games to Rio de Janeiro will extend his rule despite increased criticism and accusations of wrongdoing.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Arkansas coach John L. Smith has amended his bankruptcy filing, listing $40.7 million in debts _ up from $25.7 million just last month. The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Little Rock on Wednesday shows Smith has $1.3 million in assets.
FARGO, N.D.-- Representatives of six North Dakota companies are going on a trade mission to the South American nation of Colombia next week. It is the first North Dakota trade mission to Colombia in four years.